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vfx
06-04-2009, 05:19 PM
Visual effects now vie with stars as box office draws in summer tentpoles. But a possible shortage of visual effects shops could be a brutal blow to the next wave of f/x-heavy tentpoles.

Studios depend on outside vfx shops to deliver ever-larger amounts of first-class work on ever-shorter schedules. Some leaders of the visual effects business, both at vfx shops and at studios, are warning there could be a shortage of vfx capacity within a year -- a shortage that could drive up costs and even threaten release dates.

The combination of Hollywood's production slowdown and the recession have already driven some California vfx shops out of business, with more threatening to shutter.


http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118003757.html?categoryid=13&cs=1&query=visual+effectsc

Shletten
06-04-2009, 06:21 PM
It all makes perfect sense but it is a very unfortunate turn. It's like if only the big companies were going to survive.

Gentle Fury
06-04-2009, 06:41 PM
man, this article has made the rounds...saw it first a few months ago on VFX user group on Linkedin, then again a month ago on VFXTalk.com...now here. If there was an industry pulitzer the author would be getting one ;)

Brettzies
06-04-2009, 06:56 PM
Studios depend on outside vfx shops to deliver ever-larger amounts of first-class work on ever-shorter schedules.
I've been wondering if this would ever have an impact. Seems like almost every project gets a shorter time, less people, and more expectations which usually translates into massive OT for long periods of time. You'd think after 20+ years of vfx with computer work coming on strong, people would know how to schedule a movie without killing people.

On the flip side, I know the vfx houses are at the mercy of the production and in competition with each other for shows. Makes for a very combustible situation with no one wanting to lose clients or projects.

CompanionCube
06-04-2009, 08:01 PM
just makes me think why don't people just take pay cuts, its silly that theres people out there getting 500 a day or more, greedy

cbamber85
06-04-2009, 09:10 PM
Does this mean that things are on the up and more jobs are on the way for us? I'm currently building my first show reel, and I'm dreading flipping burgers...

Venkman
06-04-2009, 09:27 PM
Pay the actors a more reasonable salary and redirect the savings. Problem solved.

Example: there is no way Nicole Kidman is worth the salary she demands. her past dozen or so movies have not performed well in relation to her salary.

if they are huge stars, pay them a percentage of profits rather than an upfront, massive salary. That way, they are motivated to do publicity and work hard. This will quickly separate box office stars from tabloid stars.

What a concept!

If the actors won't play ball, find some that will. Pay the VFX people who work 80 hour weeks what they deserve.

beaker
06-04-2009, 09:27 PM
just makes me think why don't people just take pay cuts, its silly that theres people out there getting 500 a day or more, greedystudios are waiting till the last minute to start films and people need to work 16+ hour days, 7 days a week to finish the film on time. If your making 500 then your probably good enough to deserve it since often your often not working 12 month out of the year(more like 9-10).

The trouble is that large companies require huge layers of extra management so they have to charge way more per shot then smaller studios. Though the smaller studios break when you go beyond a certain number of shots.

MrHooper
06-04-2009, 09:28 PM
just makes me think why don't people just take pay cuts, its silly that theres people out there getting 500 a day or more, greedy

Ugg.

The people who get that and more usually live in an expensive city where they have to spend 2-3k a month for a reasonably crappy apartment. They have to pay their own health insurance, taxes, and if they have kids, good luck. They ask that much per day, since they usually don't have the opportunity to work every day. If they do, they usually agree to a reduced daily rate, based on longer-term contracts. Greed. Jebus. Get real.

Boone
06-04-2009, 09:28 PM
just makes me think why don't people just take pay cuts, its silly that theres people out there getting 500 a day or more, greedy

Jobs in this business are not the most secure. Most have to be as greedy as possible because the next day they may be let go, and if they have to find another job, they will need that money to tide them over...

opus13
06-04-2009, 10:08 PM
GOOD

hopefully they will concentrate of a damn script before trying to save a film with a crap story by making it shiny.

Gentle Fury
06-04-2009, 10:23 PM
just makes me think why don't people just take pay cuts, its silly that theres people out there getting 500 a day or more, greedy


Greedy??? Are you serious? My day rate is high because I do nothing but freelance. There is only work, as Beaker said for about 9 months out of the year. My day rate is not only determined by how much I am making while working, it is determined by how much I will need in between jobs! Work freelance before you call us greedy! I probably make the same as you...but you get paid while you're sitting around doing nothing...I get paid more while I'm working so i can have a place to sit around doing nothing!

redbellpeppers
06-05-2009, 12:59 AM
Pay the actors a more reasonable salary and redirect the savings. Problem solved.

Example: there is no way Nicole Kidman is worth the salary she demands. her past dozen or so movies have not performed well in relation to her salary.

if they are huge stars, pay them a percentage of profits rather than an upfront, massive salary. That way, they are motivated to do publicity and work hard. This will quickly separate box office stars from tabloid stars.

What a concept!

If the actors won't play ball, find some that will. Pay the VFX people who work 80 hour weeks what they deserve.

I like it.
You think any of the unions would allow it?

Venkman
06-05-2009, 01:08 AM
I like it.
You think any of the unions would allow it?

Isn't is up to producers what they offer actors (or what they accept an actor demands)?

I would think it is as simple as only hiring people who will act for a reasonable fee.

As for the profits, that's what George Lucas did with the original Star Wars, i think. Worked out pretty well for those guys. ;)

DanielWray
06-05-2009, 01:23 AM
Why are the vast majority of people with money stupid? How do they even get money in the first place?

It's about as clear as a clear pane of glass. If your struggling with finances you take measures to change that, now your left with two (i'm just simplifying this) options;



Pay peanuts to VFX studios, who essentially nowadays create the backbone for any film, it's not so much about script, but about how much explosions and monsters you can get into 90 minutes (No offence to VFX studios, they do an amazing job, but sadly it's the guys with the most money and least amount of creativity running the show)
Find cheaper, but just as capable actors and pay them a salary that doesn't take 50% of the films budget. (as well as cutting back on the stupid and undeeded expenses)
I don't know about other people, but i tend to avoid films with A-list actors, why?


It totally detracts from being taking into the film, because you've seen there faces and style of acting applied to so many on screen characters.
You can sort of guess that there is going to be a basic hollyword plot, love, war etc
You can also sort of guess that the film will concentrate more on showing the actors doing cool things, than actaully telling a story, or being in the least bit entertaining.
It's about the actors.. there names are all over the film adverts, it's not a film.. it's a montage of the "lead" actor looking awesome and badass.
If i could i'd fly over to hollywood and moon every single idiot investor who thinks that the general public want to see these over used and, personally **** actors in films.. Sorry.. montages.

:banghead::cry:

/Rant.

Yea i know the thread is about studios, but the fact that an actor probably take away more for a few weeks/ months of work than a whole studio does is quite frankly ****** disgusting! :@

Mic_Ma
06-05-2009, 02:31 AM
They should produce in Japan where it's more like 500yen a day and OT not an issue.

Gentle Fury
06-05-2009, 02:49 AM
They should produce in Japan where it's more like 500yen a day and OT not an issue.

at 100/1 conversion that would def lower production costs...but the artists wouldn't even be able to buy lunch...lol

Mic_Ma
06-05-2009, 03:52 AM
...but the artists wouldn't even be able to buy lunch...lol

I think 85% of my workmates live of Cup Noodles.

Bucket
06-05-2009, 05:21 AM
I know this is going to sound stupid.. How come there isn't a VFX guild or union?http://images.icanhascheezburger.com/completestore/2008/12/8/128732255836249218.png

http://www.migrantfilmworker.com/images/CUP_Cheaper-Faster-WMRK.jpg

vfx
06-05-2009, 02:49 PM
I know this is going to sound stupid.. How come there isn't a VFX guild or union?

If you pick up the latest edition of 3DWorld (Pixar UP on the front) you'll find there's a great article which delves into this very question. I really hate seeing suits coming off wealthier than those who produce the art, so I am very much in favour of anything that protects the artist and his/her work... one day I think there will be some protection, but the industry is still too young and there's plenty of people willing to work in this great arena who will put up with crap as long as they get to play ball.

Venkman
06-05-2009, 04:16 PM
If you pick up the latest edition of 3DWorld (Pixar UP on the front) you'll find there's a great article which delves into this very question. I really hate seeing suits coming off wealthier than those who produce the art, so I am very much in favour of anything that protects the artist and his/her work... one day I think there will be some protection, but the industry is still too young and there's plenty of people willing to work in this great arena who will put up with crap as long as they get to play ball.

I've always wanted to know how to actors and writers do it. Clearly there are starving actors as much as starving artists. How does the SAG keep their clout if there are non-members who would work for peanuts by comparison?

I'll keep an eye out for the 3d world with that article.

jewalker
06-05-2009, 04:27 PM
Pay the actors a more reasonable salary and redirect the savings. Problem solved

...

if they are huge stars, pay them a percentage of profits rather than an upfront, massive salary. That way, they are motivated to do publicity and work hard. This will quickly separate box office stars from tabloid stars.

Most A-list actors get paid a percentage of the gross (not the profit) on top of the huge salary they are commanding which is completely ridiculous.

Actors generally don't agree to contracts based on profits because that relies on the studios' reportings of those profits. Just ask Peter Jackson about his lawsuit. The gross is an easy number to calculate while the profit can be muddied with fake costs and expenditures and other bookkeeping tricks.

I agree however that actors and directors are overpaid for their positions while the business model for the VFX industry is unsustainable.

beaker
06-05-2009, 06:17 PM
tI know this is going to sound stupid.. How come there isn't a VFX guild There is one, TAG 839 (the animation guild) which covers Dreamworks, Disney, Imagemovers Digital and many other animation houses. It could easily cover vfx companies but most young people are stupid and say "We don't need no stupid union" and reject it. In the same breath the bitch and complain why they get credit at the end of the movie after the caterers and they don't get any benefit from the gross of the film.

TAG 839 doesn't require houses to hire union help first, so you get hired and your in the union. They provide health care even when your not working at union houses and could care less if you work for non union houses. Trouble is there are lots of young people who think all unions are bad. Sony Imageworks had a chance to change over but the employees rejected it.

http://www.animationguild.org/

rasamaya
06-05-2009, 07:48 PM
The link above says these employers are bound by the TAG Union,



ADELAIDE PRODUCTIONS (Sony TV Animation) (http://www.animationguild.org/_Jobs/Jobs_h/unionstudios_h/S_ADELADE.HTML)
James Baxter: see DRAWING PICTURES (http://www.animationguild.org/_Jobs/Jobs_h/unionstudios_h/S_JBAXTER.HTML)
CARTOON NETWORK STUDIOS (http://www.animationguild.org/_Jobs/Jobs_h/unionstudios_h/S_CNS.HTML)
CREST ANIMATION
(http://www.animationguild.org/_Jobs/Jobs_h/unionstudios_h/S_RICH.HTML)Rich Entertainment (http://www.animationguild.org/_Jobs/Jobs_h/unionstudios_h/S_CNS.HTML)
DRAWING PICTURES (James Baxter Animation) (http://www.animationguild.org/_Jobs/Jobs_h/unionstudios_h/S_JBAXTER.HTML)
DREAMWORKS SKG (http://www.animationguild.org/_Jobs/Jobs_h/unionstudios_h/S_DWORKS.HTML)
FILM ROMAN (http://www.animationguild.org/_Jobs/Jobs_h/unionstudios_h/S_FILMROMAN.HTML)
FOX TV ANIMATION (http://www.animationguild.org/_Jobs/Jobs_h/unionstudios_h/S_FOXTV.HTML)
IDT ENTERTAINMENT (http://www.animationguild.org/_Jobs/Jobs_h/unionstudios_h/S_FILMROMAN.HTML)
IM DIGITAL (http://www.animationguild.org/_Jobs/Jobs_h/unionstudios_h/S_IMDIGITAL.HTML) (Imagemovers)
IMAGI STUDIOS USA (http://www.animationguild.org/_Jobs/Jobs_h/unionstudios_h/S_IMAGI.HTML)
INTERACTIVE ART SERVICES (http://www.animationguild.org/_Jobs/Jobs_h/unionstudios_h/S_IAS.HTML)
NICKELODEON ANIMATION STUDIOS (http://www.animationguild.org/_Jobs/Jobs_h/unionstudios_h/S_NICK.HTML)
POW WOW PRODUCTIONS (http://www.animationguild.org/_Jobs/Jobs_h/unionstudios_h/S_POWWOW.HTML)
SD ENTERTAINMENT (http://www.animationguild.org/_Jobs/Jobs_h/unionstudios_h/S_SD.HTML)
Sabella-Dern (http://www.animationguild.org/_Jobs/Jobs_h/unionstudios_h/S_CNS.HTML)
SONY PICTURES ANIMATION (http://www.animationguild.org/_Jobs/Jobs_h/unionstudios_h/S_SPA.HTML)
SPRITE PICTURES PRODUCTIONS (http://www.animationguild.org/_Jobs/Jobs_h/unionstudios_h/S_SPRITE.HTML)
STARZ MEDIA (http://www.animationguild.org/_Jobs/Jobs_h/unionstudios_h/S_FILMROMAN.HTML)
TOM T ANIMATION (http://www.animationguild.org/_Jobs/Jobs_h/unionstudios_h/S_TOMT.HTML)
UNIVERSAL CARTOON STUDIOS
(http://www.animationguild.org/_Jobs/Jobs_h/unionstudios_h/S_UNVRSL.HTML)Walter Lantz (http://www.animationguild.org/_Jobs/Jobs_h/unionstudios_h/S_CNS.HTML)
WALT DISNEY PICTURES
(http://www.animationguild.org/_Jobs/Jobs_h/unionstudios_h/S_WDISNY.HTML)Walt Disney Feature Animation
The Secret Lab (TSL)
Walt Disney Television Animation
Disney Toons (http://www.animationguild.org/_Jobs/Jobs_h/unionstudios_h/S_WDISNY.HTML)
WARNER BROS. ANIMATION (http://www.animationguild.org/_Jobs/Jobs_h/unionstudios_h/S_WARNERS.HTML)
So anyone working under these employers is in the Union?
Do they hire union members over none? Is there a preference or reason?

richcz3
06-05-2009, 07:55 PM
If you pick up the latest edition of 3DWorld (Pixar UP on the front) you'll find there's a great article which delves into this very question....It is a very good article. It pinpoints many of the reasons why any form of organization is a challenge.
1. The industry is Young
2. The Artists are Young
3. The industry is small
4. The workers aren't united

"The underlying culture of the digital 3D sector is generally hostile to unionization. It is extremely individualistic and entrepreneurial."

I completely understand the entrepreneurial side. Some artists eventually open up their own operation. The last thing they want to be weighed down by is rules and expenses that make them less competitive.

beaker
06-05-2009, 08:04 PM
Do they hire union members over none? Is there a preference or reason?I'm guessing you meant "do they hire union members over non union". No, they don't care if your a member or not. Your hired then your in the union. The initial fee for getting in sucks(2 weeks pay) but it is for life and they let you pay it over 6 months. Also you get 401k options, health care, and a retirement pension with 5 years of work. You don't get direct residuals but the union collects residuals and uses them for your pension & health care.

So it all pays off in the long run.

beaker
06-05-2009, 08:15 PM
I completely understand the entrepreneurial side. Some artists eventually open up their own operation. The last thing they want to be weighed down by is rules and expenses that make them less competitive.It doesn't make much sense why people think that way. Unions aren't needed nor required for startups. This is more for the established medium to large company so we can all jump from company to company with sometimes weeks between jobs without a lapse in benefits.

Boone
06-05-2009, 09:28 PM
tThere is one, TAG 839 (the animation guild) which covers Dreamworks, Disney, Imagemovers Digital and many other animation houses. It could easily cover vfx companies but most young people are stupid and say "We don't need no stupid union" and reject it. In the same breath the bitch and complain why they get credit at the end of the movie after the caterers and they don't get any benefit from the gross of the film.

TAG 839 doesn't require houses to hire union help first, so you get hired and your in the union. They provide health care even when your not working at union houses and could care less if you work for non union houses. Trouble is there are lots of young people who think all unions are bad. Sony Imageworks had a chance to change over but the employees rejected it.

http://www.animationguild.org/

I'm for unions as well. I've seen others get pushed around in previous jobs, simply because management think they can try it on with an ill-informed employee.

If you are up on the rules and regulations of employment etc, then a union is of little use other than to play referee, and to ensure regulations are being up held. However, not everyone is a Perry Mason, and so it can be difficult to know where you stand as to dealing with problems with employers. Ask the junior artists in the office where they stand with a request to deliver a hard drive with vital data to another building on the other side of town, and most will respond with "Ummm...dunno...I guess I just have to do it?". Half of them wouldn't know to ask for the request in writing, or to claim it was on company business if the drive was damaged on the journey to the other building...

Unions can advise workers on how best to deal with such situations, and can make the worker more willing to do certain tasks because they know to take certain - and mostly simple - precautions. Therefore, they will be less "argumentative" in the eyes of their employer, and they in turn get what they wanted in the first place...

Ilive
06-05-2009, 10:52 PM
I say temp unions are the way to go. When there is a big problem unite, take care of it and then disband until the next time the group is needed.

Unions have their good and bad. Part of the problem with the Car industry is unions. Those top paying jobs for everyone is nice but you'll eventually run out of money and costs will be high.

I know this is going to sound stupid.. How come there isn't a VFX guild or

I guess cause VFX artists can be distributed worldwide. For movies you need the actors, cameramen, grip handlers, directors, writers, etc on set. VFX guys you can have in another country on the other side of the world.

I like the chart you had and the problem though is within the FX world you can have all three. It is called outsourcing. And before our brethren abroad are dissed for skills have you seen some of hte work that South Asia is throwing out? Have you seen the calibre of work being done by our friends on this forum?

It would be nice not to have unions and employers to simply be fair.
I think rising costs of VFX is what will cause many to go out of business. I still do not get the all around cost. Shouldn't cost be going down for VFX and not up due to technology?

Even with Pixar I do not understand why Incredibles cost 92,000,000 and UP 175,000,000 in less than 5 years of inflation.

DanielWray
06-05-2009, 11:35 PM
Well if no body stands up, if no body decides it's time to unite and everybody just stays in there own little bubbles, then of course the industry will just carry on the way it always has, more than likely it would even get worse as more demand is put on the artists/ studios.

A union doesn't have to be like any other union, it could be unique for the CG industry, a international body of advisors and a large support network for both individuals and studios.

I certainly wouldn't mind parting with a percentage of my salary if i knew i was protected in some way by a large profressional union who would take action if i were treated unfairly by an employer and of course the pension sound's good as well (I'm in the UK, so free health care, not really an issue). But yea, i've said it for some time now, the CG industry needs a union, not a standard union like the car giants or manufacturing industries, they just wouldn't work in this line of work, but a union built for CG artists and studios would, in my opinion be a huge benefit to everybody working in the field.

playmesumch00ns
06-06-2009, 01:02 PM
It would be nice not to have unions and employers to simply be fair.
I think rising costs of VFX is what will cause many to go out of business. I still do not get the all around cost. Shouldn't cost be going down for VFX and not up due to technology?

The cost goes up because the amount and complexity of vfx work is increasing at an alarming rate. The trouble is that vfx budgets and post-production schedules tend to go in the opposite direction.

cbamber85
06-06-2009, 01:22 PM
The cost goes up because the amount and complexity of vfx work is increasing at an alarming rate. The trouble is that vfx budgets and post-production schedules tend to go in the opposite direction.

Does this mean we will start seeing 'studios' that handle mainly outsourced R&D work from other studios?

DanielWray
06-06-2009, 02:03 PM
You have to factor in everything though, everything is getting more expensive nowadays, while wages tend not to go up as much (If at all.. Except the higher people of course), but studio bills, taxes, software, hardware etc etc it's all getting more expensive, and of course films are getting more technically demanding so more and more resources are being used.

wwswimming
06-06-2009, 02:58 PM
Pay the actors a more reasonable salary and redirect the savings. Problem solved.

Example: there is no way Nicole Kidman is worth the salary she demands. her past dozen or so movies have not performed well in relation to her salary.

if they are huge stars, pay them a percentage of profits rather than an upfront, massive salary. That way, they are motivated to do publicity and work hard. This will quickly separate box office stars from tabloid stars.

What a concept!

If the actors won't play ball, find some that will. Pay the VFX people who work 80 hour weeks what they deserve.

i like Keanu Reeves' approach.

didn't he share something like 70% of the $100 million from some of the last Matrix movies with the VFX crew ?

whalerider
06-06-2009, 03:15 PM
Why would there be a slowdown late in 2009 or in 2010? Looking at the list of upcoming films in Cinefex it does not look that way.
And what happens to the argument that people turn more to simple entertainment like movies in time of recession?

DanielWray
06-06-2009, 03:27 PM
Yea thing is though, you use to pay a few pence (shilling? what ever, i don't know :P ), which i think back in the time when the last major recession was happening and hollywood so a purk in sales, wasn't much money out of a salary.

Nowadays though, the prices have soared you pay anywhere up to 20 for one ticket! if you have a family of say four people, you have to factor in the ticket, food, drinks and travel, it adds up to quite alot, and that's the problem (In my opinion). If hollywood (and all those who produce films) would realise that spending stupid amounts on extras that really don't add much to a film (Stupidly overpaid actors, stupid job titles, stupid perks and what ever else) they could save millions and perhaps bring down the price, but no, they are greedy and their own greed will bring them down, unfortuntley it'll take alot of people down with them who have no say in the matter (VFX studios etc). /rant

whalerider
06-06-2009, 03:49 PM
imho, there are 2 factors that attract people to movies - big name actors and effects.
the studios find it a lot easier to squeeze vfx shops that A-list actors.

cbamber85
06-06-2009, 04:09 PM
Yea thing is though, you use to pay a few pence (shilling? what ever, i don't know :P ), which i think back in the time when the last major recession was happening and hollywood so a purk in sales, wasn't much money out of a salary.

Nowadays though, the prices have soared you pay anywhere up to 20 for one ticket!

Once you factor in inflation, the costs really aren't that different. And think back to the 'golden' age of Western cinema when there were no digital effects, 5000 extras for a battlescene? Done!

The economies of scale really haven't changed much, neither has the appeal of 'big' productions with big name stars - escapism and idolisation always have been, and always will be, the main draws for the public.

richcz3
06-06-2009, 05:31 PM
The cost goes up because the amount and complexity of vfx work is increasing at an alarming rate. The trouble is that vfx budgets and post-production schedules tend to go in the opposite direction.Studios competing for the work sign on on to ever decreasing budgets. But I think the word Studio can be misleading. There are all forms of sublet/subcontracted work at play as well. The margins for profit, minimal. a vine to vine swing - miss one and they are on the skids.

The price to do better for less in a shorter span of time has been there for many years. Some of the work was taken up by smaller boutique shops. I would really like to know the number of 2-5 man "garage operations" that spring up in the Los Angeles area alone that take on sublet work. I did some work for one in Santa Monica. Nobody there was permanent - everyone was a freelancer. I just don't see how there could be any form of organization with such a fractured eco-system.

kelgy
06-06-2009, 05:39 PM
imho, there are 2 factors that attract people to movies - big name actors and effects.
the studios find it a lot easier to squeeze vfx shops that A-list actors.

*another thing is acting is a social profession so it was much easier for them to stick together, share common interests and form a union. Visual art is more solitary, and you dont need others to do your thing the same way as actors do--much more community oriented.
Actors being exploited by studios through long working hours and forced to sign harsh contracts that controlled their public and personal lives led to the formation of the SAG. Oddly, the only well known actor i can see in the founders board listed on wiki is Boris Karloff.

I dont think big name stars are attracting movie goers like they used to(no one other than Will Smith seems to be that big a draw--compared to Stallone or Schwarzenegger).

I think well known cultural properties--comic books, remakes, etc are a significant factor as well. A janitor could direct a Batman movie with no names and a lot of people would see it on opening day.

Gentle Fury
06-06-2009, 05:52 PM
Studios competing for the work sign on on to ever decreasing budgets. But I think the word Studio can be misleading. There are all forms of sublet/subcontracted work at play as well. The margins for profit, minimal. a vine to vine swing - miss one and they are on the skids.

The price to do better for less in a shorter span of time has been there for many years. Some of the work was taken up by smaller boutique shops. I would really like to know the number of 2-5 man "garage operations" that spring up in the Los Angeles area alone that take on sublet work. I did some work for one in Santa Monica. Nobody there was permanent - everyone was a freelancer. I just don't see how there could be any form of organization with such a fractured eco-system.

Really? I feel the opposite..I don't understand the point of a small company having staff. Why pay someone to sit around in dead times? Sure companies like Sony and Dreamworks has staff for R&D and dev work...but even they lay off most of their crew between shows. The only way a small shop can stay alive is by having a small admin staff, a small sales crew (possibly even the small admin staff) and all freelance artists. Artists in this town know what their doing...you don't need the same people on every single project, and its not like anyone trains in this town...if you need training you are not employable anyway! A company I worked with a year ago just let go of 5 staff/permalance artists...it really sucks..but unfortunately its the nature of an on again off again industry. Staff artists are dead weight. You pay them regardless of income..that can get REALLY hard. Those artists that got laid off will easily find more work...they are very talented and will make it happen next month when things pick up again. I've been working freelance for over a year now in LA and I love it. I work when I'm needed, I chill when I'm not. Why should I have to sit around and look busy to justify my check, when I could be at home doing whatever I want to do?

Gentle Fury
06-06-2009, 05:55 PM
*another thing is acting is a social profession so it was much easier for them to stick together, share common interests and form a union. Visual art is more solitary, and you dont need others to do your thing the same way as actors do--much more community oriented.
Actors being exploited by studios through long working hours and forced to sign harsh contracts that controlled their public and personal lives led to the formation of the SAG. Oddly, the only well known actor i can see in the founders board listed on wiki is Boris Karloff.

I dont think big name stars are attracting movie goers like they used to(no one other than Will Smith seems to be that big a draw--compared to Stallone or Schwarzenegger).

I think well known cultural properties--comic books, remakes, etc are a significant factor as well. A janitor could direct a Batman movie with no names and a lot of people would see it on opening day.

Dunno, actors in my experience are WAY more solitary than VFX artists. We artists stick together and recommend others for jobs we are on. While there may not be a union per say, there is a very tight nit community! I would say 95% of my work comes from people i've worked with or worked for.

soulburn3d
06-06-2009, 06:06 PM
didn't he share something like 70% of the $100 million from some of the last Matrix movies with the VFX crew ?

I believe that was the practical fx and stunt men, not the visual fx people.

- Neil

kelgy
06-06-2009, 06:30 PM
Dunno, actors in my experience are WAY more solitary than VFX artists. We artists stick together and recommend others for jobs we are on. While there may not be a union per say, there is a very tight nit community! I would say 95% of my work comes from people i've worked with or worked for.

**I dont mean solitary as in their private lives or inner feelings. But actors usually work with other people all the time as part of their art. You act off someone etc. In visual arts, you normally do your own thing and it doesnt need others(unless its a pipeline).
Plus there are a lot of actors. They compete with each other somewhat but they also need each other(and share the problem of constant rejection).

Maybe its different now given the much larger amount of fx requirements in movies but it used to be that fx people(especially in makeup /creature fx) were competitive about jobs and wouldnt share job opportunities with others so easily. One example I heard about was Rob Bottin taking techniques he learned through Rick Baker to beat him to making a werewolf transformation in the Howling before American Werewolf in London came out.

richcz3
06-06-2009, 07:11 PM
Another thing people are overlooking is that Actors, Directors et all are not Tech driven professions. No matter how advanced film making gets, these professions have deep established roots in the industry. There is a proven cause and effect with shorting the budget on those talents.

Studios have a history of low balling and so long as VFX shops are willing to drop the costs to win the projects, the cycle will not stop. When profits for work are marginal - any form of union is more disruptive than beneficial. What needs to happen is that VFX shops (of all sizes) organize to sustainable market standard. But even that is very unrealistic in a global market with a huge talent pool.

Of greater consequence, digital arts are driven by technology. The digital profession is built on the latest revisions. Its cycles are fast and aim high - unfortunately so do the clients expectations. Its built into the mindset of faster, better, cheaper.

Gentle Fury
06-07-2009, 06:57 PM
**I dont mean solitary as in their private lives or inner feelings. But actors usually work with other people all the time as part of their art. You act off someone etc. In visual arts, you normally do your own thing and it doesnt need others(unless its a pipeline).
Plus there are a lot of actors. They compete with each other somewhat but they also need each other(and share the problem of constant rejection).

Maybe its different now given the much larger amount of fx requirements in movies but it used to be that fx people(especially in makeup /creature fx) were competitive about jobs and wouldnt share job opportunities with others so easily. One example I heard about was Rob Bottin taking techniques he learned through Rick Baker to beat him to making a werewolf transformation in the Howling before American Werewolf in London came out.

but that is what i was talking about...maybe things are different where you are...but if i am booked and a client calls me for a job I will call other artists I know are good and ask if they are available...if they are I call back my client and refer them to the artist. I get a lot of work by other artists referring me in the same manner. I feel that if you are a solitary vfx artist in this town you won't be working very much.

kelgy
06-07-2009, 07:55 PM
but that is what i was talking about...maybe things are different where you are...but if i am booked and a client calls me for a job I will call other artists I know are good and ask if they are available...if they are I call back my client and refer them to the artist. I get a lot of work by other artists referring me in the same manner. I feel that if you are a solitary vfx artist in this town you won't be working very much.

**Yes I understand. I have seen some competitiveness here but that is in traditional fx, and some years ago.

I forgot where i heard it or who said it (it was an article) but it was something like an LA based creature fx person was saying that his crew professional friends were surprised that creature fx people were so secretive about job opportunitiess since they(camera, lighting, etc) were open about letting others in the field know about them. The creature fx guy said it was like that for creature fx people because the job opportunities were limited.

In those days, if you wanted a monster, you only had costumes or stop motion(which was pretty rare).
Plus the monster maker often did most of the work alone with a few assistants. It wasnt quite the same pipeline as CG.
But it wasnt like they were out to stab each other in the back. Its a close knit community-especially now since CG has taken a fair bit of the work from it.

Another difference is that in those days fx people were much more media prominent than now.
I recall Baker, Bottin, Winston etc being interviewed a lot in major entertainment media.

Anyway I digress.

Gentle Fury
06-07-2009, 08:06 PM
**Yes I understand. I have seen some competitiveness here but that is in traditional fx, and some years ago.

I forgot where i heard it or who said it (it was an article) but it was something like an LA based creature fx person was saying that his crew professional friends were surprised that creature fx people were so secretive about job opportunitiess since they(camera, lighting, etc) were open about letting others in the field know about them. The creature fx guy said it was like that for creature fx people because the job opportunities were limited.

In those days, if you wanted a monster, you only had costumes or stop motion(which was pretty rare).
Plus the monster maker often did most of the work alone with a few assistants. It was a pipeline in the same way that CG is done.
But it wasnt like they were out to stab each other in the back. Its a close knit community-especially now since CG has taken a fair bit of the work from it.


ah, I guess I thought we were talking about today. Yeah I guess when there were only a few studios and not that many artists doing it it would be more tight lipped to protect your craft...but im sure even then if someone needed help they would call someone in.

I have a friend that used to work creature...but made the switch to digital when it became necessary, I'll have to ask him about that next time i talk to him.

kelgy
06-07-2009, 08:13 PM
Oops I added something in between your post.
heh.

There is a tight knit traditional creature fx community online. I dont notice any backstabbing or competitiveness there.
The only well know example I know of is the Bottin/Baker thing, and whoever was talking in that article I read.

vfx
06-09-2009, 11:18 AM
And today I hear Pacific Title are going under :( That really is sad as that's a company who's been going for a very long time and has had the chance to create some amazing work on many films spanning many generations - surely someone would want to buy the company as it kinda has a niche in the film market.

http://www.fxguide.com/article537.html

What is particularly annoying for many is how at the end of the day - and at the end of a series of compromises and errors it is the artist - working excessive hours and without support that is paying the price by inheriting the problems. It is the artist at the workstation who pays with loss of family time for the cut corners, it is the artist who ends up pulling all-nighters to make the ridiculous deadline and yet it is not the artist who benefits in terms of rewards, job security or even full and correct recognition for the work they do.
neonmarg

Couldn't have said it better!
I really do hate how this world operates sometimes! I'm glad that I've been brought up with morals and to show respect in everyday matters, but man does that mean you get knocked down.

Gentle Fury
06-09-2009, 05:31 PM
And today I hear Pacific Title are going under :( That really is sad as that's a company who's been going for a very long time and has had the chance to create some amazing work on many films spanning many generations - surely someone would want to buy the company as it kinda has a niche in the film market.

http://www.fxguide.com/article537.html

What is particularly annoying for many is how at the end of the day - and at the end of a series of compromises and errors it is the artist - working excessive hours and without support that is paying the price by inheriting the problems. It is the artist at the workstation who pays with loss of family time for the cut corners, it is the artist who ends up pulling all-nighters to make the ridiculous deadline and yet it is not the artist who benefits in terms of rewards, job security or even full and correct recognition for the work they do.
neonmarg

Couldn't have said it better!
I really do hate how this world operates sometimes! I'm glad that I've been brought up with morals and to show respect in everyday matters, but man does that mean you get knocked down.





So perfectly stated! I busted my ass on the last 2 features and didn't get my name in the credit roll...pretty lame.

On the other hand, I love that production is so sloppy now...it gives us more work...90% of VFX is cleanup after all.

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